Conspicuous By Their Absence
Buckeye fans were likely relieved to see some of the players check in. Nathan Williams and Storm Klein, subject of an ongoing investigation of simple assault for an incident on Sunday morning for which the NBC affiliate erroneously reported an arrest, were there. Marcus Hall, subject of a rumor that there were academic shenanigans afoot, was there. Just about everyone we expected to be there, outside of the departing Jermil Martin, was there.
There were two exceptions to this. Rod Smith, the freshman tailback from Fort Wayne, has been furiously trying to make the grade through summer school. He did not enroll for the summer term with the rest of his classmates and was expected to be in good position by now. However, he did not check in. Not all hope is lost regarding Smith. Tressel was optimistic that Smith will be coming and, indeed, most discussion surrounding Smith was optimistic as well. His absence today is treated as a logistical problem. He is expected to register at the University Plaza Hotel in about a day or two.
The other exception was Nic DiLillo, the tight end from Madison, Ohio. This one was odd. He was subject of a rumor that he was going to be left off the 105-man roster for camp earlier in the week. It is now apparently official. To be clear, he is not taken off his scholarship. In an era of runaway education costs, this detail is important. Nevertheless, this appears to be something close to a “cut”. A maximum of 85 players are on scholarship, a subset of 105 that report to camp. For DiLillo, who came to Ohio State after turning down Clemson and Pitt, to not even be in the class of walk-ons is a strong message. For what, I’m not entirely sure. DiLillo has no (known) history of academic struggles and has no apparent history of off the field problems. You can infer from the result, and believe the rumors, that this is a signal that the coaching staff is not too happy with his effort and productivity on the field. It makes the most sense, unless more information comes to light.
DiLillo will apparently come to camp should someone get injured or have to check out for whatever reasons. Regardless, that is not good for DiLillo.
Importantly, Josh Winslow has a slew of pictures from check-in day. These can be seen here. You know which of those 252 pictures I’m posting below.